5 Reasons Blogging Might Not Be For You

  • January 17, 2012 by Corbett Barr
  • 37 Comments

Note: I’m launching a new course today called How to Start a Blog that Matters, so I know it may seem strange that I’m writing this article about why blogging might not be for you.

Here’s the deal: while I know blogging is an incredible opportunity for some, the fact is blogging isn’t for everybody. If blogging isn’t a good fit for you, you’d probably be better off spending time pursuing something else.

If you’re thinking about starting a blog, read the post below. If you still think it’s for you, head over and check out How to Start a Blog that Matters.

Also, just announced: we’re offering some very special bonuses with the course. See our special bonus offers here.

Blogging can change your life.

For people with the desire and ability, I strongly recommend starting a blog for all kinds of reasons.

I started blogging in 2009 to explore my creativity and share stories about wanting more than money and status out of life.

Ever since I started this blog, amazing things have happened. I’ve made countless awesome new friends, built a business, discovered creativity I didn’t know I had, and have supported myself in a way that lets me travel the world.

I’ve even received job offers (and politely said no thanks to them :) ), business offers, strange and wonderful gifts in the mail and countless emails from readers that lift me up, make me think, and make me thankful every day for being able to share my voice and help people through blogging.

When I think back over the amazing changes I’ve gone through over the past three years, blogging is at the center of what has enabled those changes.

I’ve been a fortunate blogger, and many of my friends have as well.

I have watched friends and peers do amazing things with blogging, and I’ve helped hundreds of other people start blogs through my courses and one-on-one consulting.

When I started blogging, I knew no popular bloggers, and I didn’t know anyone who supported themselves through blogging. I now know dozens of people who earn a living through blogging and dozens more who’s lives have changed because of blogging. I count many bloggers among my closest friends.

The benefits of blogging are easy to recognize and praise, but not every blogger will reap these rewards. There are hundreds of millions of blogs in existence, and only a small percentage achieve the goals the blogger starts with.

Why do some blogs become wildly successful while most go unnoticed?

Could you create a successful blog?

The course we’re launching today provides the formula and action plan for starting a blog that matters. For the course to help you, first you have to understand, accept and prepare for the realities of blogging.

Here are 5 truths about blogging you should know before you start.

  1. Building a successful blog takes an incredible amount of work, patience and stamina.

    I’ve discovered a common trait among top bloggers I’ve gotten to know like Chris Guillebeau, Leo Babauta, Danielle LaPorte and Ramit Sethi. They deserve all the success they’ve had in blogging because they have worked incredibly hard at it for a long time.

    Luck barely played a role for these and all of the other big name bloggers I know. Each of them simply works their ass off every week. They all happen to be brilliant as well, but brilliance takes a back seat to hard work when it comes to blogging.

    And here’s the thing: the bar is high for new bloggers. You have to be willing to work as hard as some of these top bloggers if you want a seat at the table.

    Smart bloggers realize that hard work is their secret weapon.

  2. Blogging isn’t a quick path to riches.

    If you earn any revenue from your blog within the first 6-12 months, you’ll be doing well. If you can support yourself completely within two years of starting your blog, you’ll be doing extremely well.

    Forget about making a living within just a few months. I’ve never seen it happen for a new blogger. Building a business around blogging is fun and rewarding and some amazing things are possible, but don’t expect it to happen overnight.

    Give yourself a solid 18-36 months to earn a full-time living from blogging. See point #1 above to remind yourself that it will take a lot of work to make it happen. If money is purely your goal, there are quicker paths to it than blogging.

    The most successful bloggers are in it for much more than money.

  3. To be a successful blogger, you have to like creating content.

    Blogging requires creating a LOT of content.

    For most bloggers, this means writing a ton. For some, it might mean creating lots of videos or podcasts or illustrations. In any case, you’ll be producing a lot.

    From creating blog posts to responding to comments and emails to posting on social media to creating guest posts for other sites, you’ll be producing 1000s of words every week.

    If you don’t like writing or otherwise recording ideas to share with other people, blogging will be nearly impossible for you to do well.

    This is a skill you can learn to like, but you have to start with the right mindset. If you’re on the fence about whether you like producing copious amounts of content, make it your goal to figure out a way to make it fun. Find the topics, tone and format that work for you. Don’t feel like you have to do exactly what other bloggers do.

    Successful bloggers find a way to fall in love with creating content. The sooner you do this, the sooner you’ll build a blog that matters.

  4. To be a successful blogger, you have to like helping or entertaining other people, not just about talking yourself.

    It’s one thing to like writing because you spend all the time writing about yourself. Blogging requires something more. You have to write for other people.

    That’s not to say you can’t write about yourself, but you have to relate those stories about yourself into something other people can learn from or be entertained by.

    I’ve known new bloggers who thought they were great writers until they started blogging for an audience. Writing for an audience is much different from journaling or keeping a diary for yourself. The audience (or lack of) will let you know if your writing is as good as you thought. Most of the time, if your writing isn’t well received it means you’re not relating to your audience and providing them with unmistakable value.

    To be a great blogger, you have to get good at writing in a relatable way. You have to write for other people.

  5. Building a successful blog requires getting to know other bloggers. You have to make friends and create relationships.

    Every successful blogger I know has strong relationships and friendships with other bloggers. You’ll need help (mentoring, support, links, mentions, referrals) from other bloggers if you want to build a blog that matters.

    I’ve seen plenty of potentially great bloggers struggle simply because they’re terrified to get out of their shell and meet new people.

    Successful bloggers look forward to connecting with other bloggers and know that some of their most rewarding relationships and friendships come from these connections.

How to Start a Blog that Matters

If I didn’t scare you off with the points above, the new course I’m launching today might be a great way for you to get started blogging.

How to Start a Blog that Matters is a 90-day action plan for starting a new blog from the ground up. It includes 13 weekly lessons and step-by-step action plans.

Starting a blog is actually easy. Thousands of new blogs are started every day. Anyone can create a blog in 5 minutes, but very few people will create blogs that matter.

This course goes much deeper than just starting a blog. My goal is to help you create a blog that will change your life and the lives of your readers.

–> Head over to see if my new blogging course is a good fit for you.

Questions about whether blogging is for you? Feel free to ask below and I’ll be happy to answer.

And for those of you who have started blogs, what unexpected things did you learn about blogging? What surprised you the most about how difficult or easy blogging is for you?

Written by . Corbett is cofounder of Fizzle, a place for creative entrepreneurs, writers, makers, coders and artists, all working to support themselves doing what they love independently on the Internet. Follow Corbett on on Twitter.


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Kellie Brooks January 17, 2012 at 8:09 am

Corbett~
The sign of a leader is not just heading down the road with courage, fortitude, and vision, but shining a light so that others may join. Best wishes for a successful course!

Corbett January 17, 2012 at 8:28 am

Thanks Kellie!

John | Married (with Debt) January 17, 2012 at 8:17 am

I think I passed all the tests above! That’s the good news. Have started building many new relationships and this has been very rewarding.

Thanks for laying it out; this definitely isn’t for everyone. And if you are looking for easy money, getting a second job would be a better way to do it.

Corbett January 17, 2012 at 8:35 am

Awesome John, congrats on passing the test :)

Dave Doolin January 17, 2012 at 8:25 am

If I may be so bold as to add a 6th: Don’t fear failure and embarrassment. Very few people get it right the first time; not getting it right is public.

Corbett January 17, 2012 at 8:28 am

By all means, please add any other reasons you have Dave :) I agree, very few people get things right the first time. The embarrassment factor is usually in your head anyway.

Sean Davis January 17, 2012 at 9:13 am

If only I had understood these things the many times I attempted to blog in the past. On this current run, I’m right at about 5 months of solid blogging and I am just now starting to see that other people can in fact see my blog. A comment here and there… and that’s about it.

I never even got that far in the past, though.

Everything you said is 100% true. I’m living each of those truths right now.

Great article… (and I’m already signed up for the new program).

Corbett January 17, 2012 at 10:48 am

Awesome Sean, congrats on making it further than before. That must mean you’re onto something. Keep on it, and welcome to the new course. So happy to have you involved!

Jennifer Lachman January 17, 2012 at 9:41 am

Unfortunately I can not past your test. But it doesn’t mean I am going to stop blogging. I have recently decided I don’t want to put the work into my blog that is required to make it profitable, but I still enjoy it. I want a place to keep writing all of the random thoughts that pop into my head and as long as my mother reads it every day I won’t complain if no one else does.

But I still read your blogs every day just in case I ever do have the time and energy to put into it.

Even though I am not going to make any money on my blog doesn’t mean that I haven’t gotten a lot out of blogging. Mostly finding a ton of other great blogs to read every day and a chance to express myself on my own blog.

Corbett January 17, 2012 at 10:47 am

Hey Jennifer! Don’t let my post take anything away from what you love about blogging. Your goals are different, and that’s perfectly OK. Congrats on finding something you love to do. Keep at it and keep having fun!

John January 17, 2012 at 10:09 am

Love the way you matched this post up to your product launch. I have a feeling that there’s some kinda psychological manever there that I should learn ;)

I have been giving #3 some serious thought. Producing good, quality content is a skill and a lot of work. I have no doubt. It takes me a considerable about of time and effort to produce anything decent. I’m hoping that it will get a little easier the more experience I have, and until then, I’ll try your trick about making it fun. But I still think the job would be more fun if I didn’t have to produce content, j/k!

Corbett January 17, 2012 at 10:46 am

Haha, no psychological maneuvering. I’m just trying hard to add value whenever possible, including when pitching a product. This way if the product isn’t for you, you still get something from the post hopefully :)

Producing content does get MUCH easier with practice, if that helps!

Ana C. June 13, 2012 at 6:09 am

A bit late with this comment, but I believe this article is one you can read no matter when and it will still matter! :)

John, I don’t think producing content is only about creating something new. (Anyway I don’t think you can read this comment, but just for you to know:))), that there are other alternatives). It could be some reorganising of the existing and too much infromation in so many areas. Hope I’m good at it. ‘Cause I like this and lose track of time when doing it.

Corbett, great blog, great article, great Personal Branding Skills. I have a question for you: Do you think Blogging would be a good Choice for the “Scanner” Typologie, people which have many interests and also lose interest in doing the same thing for long time?

Thanks!
Ana C.

Ricardo Bueno January 17, 2012 at 10:51 am

Re: “To be a successful blogger, you have to like creating content.”

It takes time, patience, and lots of content! Period. No short-cuts. Too many people are looking for the short-cut.

I did the math a few days ago… In 2011 I wrote somewhere between 120,000 – 150,000 words. That took time. Lots of it. It gets easier once you figure out a routine. You find what works for you. But there’s no short-cuts. Just good ol’ fashioned hard work.

Mohit Pawar January 17, 2012 at 11:25 am

Hi Corbett,

Nice of you to share the truth upfront.
Wish you are able to show to the right path to many through SABTM and participants will get a head-start, early in 2012.

Joy and peace :)

Rodrigo @ The Brave Man Blog January 17, 2012 at 12:41 pm

I would truly like to be able to pay for that course, unfortunately for me I’m pretty poor right now hahaha, when I started my blog it was only something I did to learn the technical details about creating a blog,to learn about Wordpress and to learn more about affiliate business and how it worked (in the tech side), but now it has become something totally new and great.

I use it now to keep track of my goals and to not get off track and it’s making miracles about it, also I learned a lot doing it and now I enjoy it, I’ve met new people with similar goals and mindset (something I have never met in my country), and some of them even helped me out of the blue, I was pretty happy about it the first time it happened, when I started learning about online business everybody I knew treated me like I was crazy, I was incredibly happy to find people here who actually believed in me and even started helping me to achieve my goals, the first time someone helped me, he left a picture he found of me modified in photoshop, I was speechless, it was someone I have never spoke to, and he did it just because he wanted to help, I don’t remember the last time I felt so happy and amazed at the same time, it was like my faith in mankind was restored again, just yesterday someone offered me help doing a program of exercises that I’m doing to get fit, I felt incredibly happy to get help into something that is important to me

It’s hard, I don’t like to write anything unless I’m sure it will help the people who read it one way or another, and sometimes my mind goes completely blank, but it has been a whole new amazing experience, I even won an scholarship because of the people I met in this world.

I can’t turn my back on this now, I simply love it too much, this community of people who are taking advantage of the internet to achieve their goals it’s simply too amazing, all the people I have met here are just too awesome, there’s too much to learn from every one of them, and sure I have learned a lot from you Corbett :D

I just can’t go back on this path, the only thing that’s left is to go forward :)

KC @ PsychoMoney January 17, 2012 at 1:38 pm

I keep going back and forth on if I should get into blogging more. I started documenting my road to becoming a millionaire more for a few friends and for fun but I am thinking more and more about really going for it. If I do I will pick up your course for sure.

Sam Lab January 18, 2012 at 10:22 am

Yep. If you want to become a top blogger, you need to work hard. But working hard is not enough.

You also need to work hard doing the right things. Without that no matter how hard yo work you wont see the results you want.

Sergio Felix January 18, 2012 at 11:22 am

Oh crap… nobody told me this was a test!

On my own behalf and being as real as I can, I have been struggling but also overcoming a few of these points since I started blogging for the first time.

Internet Marketing was presented as an easy ride and it has been anything but that.

It has been, instead, a VERY bumpy ride but I have also started to feel more comfortable with all the ups and downs.

Sometimes it doesn’t even feels that bad anymore, I’m kind of starting to like it.

I have had to understand (most of the times the hard way) how certain things work and learn to not get frustrated or desperate at the first problem.

I joined your “Start A Blog That Matters” training hoping to take it to the next level.

See you inside Corbett and thanks for all these great nuggets you spread all over on your personal site.

Sergio

Dakota January 18, 2012 at 12:24 pm

These are some very awesome points!

Some of the unexpected things I learned? I learned about how hard it is to get an audience. The niche I first started in was so specific, the niche audience didn’t know it the niche was searchable.

What has surprised me the most is the fact of how much I like to write content, especially in my first project. I could write all day, but unfortunately with a fulltime job it’s a lot more difficult.

-Dakota

PS – I like the number scheme of the list. 1, 2, 1, 1, 5

Suzanne January 18, 2012 at 12:47 pm

I have to admit, I’m intrigued. I have a massive amount of random pieces that never quite make it to my blog and I enjoy writing, but do I have what it takes to commit to putting it out there? Typically a quiet person i listen more than I speak – so how that might play out in blogging i don’t know. But using a blog to step out into the world IS something I want to do. Whether the blog actually makes money or is used to support the other products/services I offer doesn’t matter so much. And who knows … maybe I DO like to share my thoughts more than I ever realized. :) I’ll give it some thought. Thanks.

Cararta January 18, 2012 at 1:17 pm

Sometime I do it right, often think I must do it wrong, but then I haven’t been really Blogging that long. Passionate about Diabetes 2 and getting the message across.
Maybe I’d better take a blogging Course!

Tony Fuentes January 19, 2012 at 2:34 am

One of my favorite bloggers Steve Kamb always tells me to keeping going. I think that’s one of the secrets. If you persist and promise yourself you’ll never give up, something good will happen. You just have to make sure you’re doing the right things for the right reasons.

I work in sales and some guys/gals really suck at selling, but they succeed after a while because they work hard and persist.

Best of luck with your course!

Dawn February 2, 2012 at 9:43 pm

I’m very interested in taking this course. How long is the launch week price good for?

Corbett February 3, 2012 at 7:38 am

During launch week Dawn :) It’s still a steal at $97.

wihmunga February 8, 2012 at 2:49 am

Hi Corbett,

Lately, I visited numbers of successful blogs about personal development, e.g. Zen Habits, The Happiness Project, Scotthyoung… and of course including yours. All these sites inspired me a lot on my life. I want to change and get improve on my lifestyle, trying to make use of what I read helping to breakthrough.

I have my own blog, which is a kind of a journal only and barely updated. Starting blogging is one of my resolutions, and I would like to take it seriously, not for making income but creating a good habit and self recognition.

But I’m not a native English speaker (as you might notice from my writing) , is that possible to launch a successful English blog?

ralph@cantankerousoldcoots April 23, 2012 at 5:13 pm

Until you succeed, nobody will even notice all the things you do wrong. Go all out!

Turner May 16, 2012 at 12:59 pm

This article hit a cord with me. Before I began blogging I knew it was going to take over a year before really getting anywhere and to just mentally prepare and have fun with it. But you make a key point to have to network with other bloggers. I haven’t done this well at all and it definitely shows. I enjoy your blog topics, they resonate with me – as does your last name, as it is mine as well.

cheers,

Turner Barr

Corbett May 16, 2012 at 3:59 pm

Nice to meet you Mr. Barr :)

Suzanne June 7, 2012 at 7:37 am

Hi Corbett,

This is a great article because it is honest. There are many sites out there that promote starting a blog as a get-rich-quick scheme, and it’s simply not true. Blogging is insanely time-consuming and yields no immediate results, except the personal gratification of seeing your work online and having a few people tell you how much they like what you’re doing.

Your other point about entertaining people is well taken. The blog, STFU,Parents is successful because it is so funny. B, the creator of STFU, is also a great writer – she studied journalism and English. In the past 3+ years, she’s created a strong following because she entertains her audience and has a topic that many people care about.

Suzanne

carolyn June 12, 2012 at 6:10 am

I love the way you lay out the facts about blogging. I believe I am on the right tract but I have a lot of work to do yet.

Sunshine Conkey June 24, 2012 at 11:19 pm

Every blog I have ever started flunks your tests

Sue July 10, 2012 at 7:52 pm

Hi Corbett, l am at a bit of a crossroads and my research brought me to this blog post – great article! I have purchased a couple affiliate marketing courses, but am now wondering whether, your course, and one blog covering my 3 main areas of interest (weight loss, personal development & my own journey to making money online), rather than multiple affiliate sites might be the way to go. Do you think one blog can cross over these 3 topics without being too messy or confusing, as this goes against the whole ‘niche’ thing? I would still do the keyword research and base articles topic on those, same as if it was a one niche site. Thank you for providing so much info, value an entertainment on your sites – they are awesome!:) Sue

Kyle August 21, 2012 at 7:36 am

It is indeed hard to keep blogging. When i started my blog recently I was soo excited. I cranked out a bunch of articles intially and I have so many ideas but I think that I am thinking too much about what to include that it has slowed me. I want to give the best possible content to my readers and it is hard when you don’t see the numbers coming to your site. I know that if I keep calm and carry on I’ll keep growing but it can be psychologically very hard to get over the hump of not immediately seeing results.

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